A. Literary translator (from all the languages I don´t know), business consultant (offering advice on experiences I´ve never had made myself), personal coach (preaching wine, drinking water).
A. Being an absolute beginner.
A. High School: My hometown Altena / Sauerland (an area where the saying goes: “Where manure heaps are steaming, no palm trees are dreaming.”); College: Tübingen, my place of residence (centre of seclusion from the world and at the same time the city with more professors and writers per square meter than any other place in Germany).
A. Classical: Mozart; Pop: Robbie Williams; Jazz: Miles Davis
A. Crime: The Godfather; Love: Gone with the Wind; Comedy: As Good As it Gets; Drama: Casablanca; Tragedy: Schindler´s List; History: The Name of the Rose
A. History: The Tudors; Comedy: Sex and the City; Psycho: In Treatment
A. A steady stream of undeserved strokes of luck …
A. “It is art, if you are not able, because if you are able, it is no longer art.” Johann Nestroy
A. This is a question I refuse to answer – the gods are always listening. Besides that, an honest answer might be rather indecent.
A. That life could get boring.
A. Within my body.
A. Bruce Almighty. Each author is this kind of a failing god.
A. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev. Because he gave a new chance to the whole world.
A. “Yes, but …”
A. To be born as a virgo. A complicated zodiac that creates complicated characters.
A. Patience. But right now, please!
A. To do what I do: writing books.
A. Lack of patience.
A. My wife.
A. The ball in the soccer world championship final of 1966, England vs. Germany. So that I could tell the whole world that it was NO goal against Germany.
A. I´m too modest to tell.
A. Laurence Sterne´s Tristram Shandy.
A. Goethe´s Mephisto.
A. John Lennon: Play it again (“Imagine”).
A. Bad jokes.
A. Horse riding – whenever my back allows me to.
A. Being a musician.
A. Whit (for men), charm (for women), reliability (for both of them).
A. The Holy Spirit, Johann Wolfgang von Goeth, Thomas Mann, Gustave Flaubert, Thomas Wolfe, Guy de Maupassant, Nick Hornby.
A. The Holy Bible, Goethe´s Faust, Thomas Mann´s Buddenbrooks, Tom Wolfe´s Bonfire of the Vanities, Guy de Maupassant´s Bel-Ami
A. See all above, but also Cervantes´ Don Quijote, Jonathan Franzen´s Corrections, Flaubert´s Madame Bovary, Laurence Sterne´s Tristram Shandy, Nick Hornby´s A Long Way Down and lots of others…
A. Only write stories that you would like to read yourself.
A. It’s incredible how you can read into a woman´s soul. (Which is not that difficult considering that I also have to read in a thief´s, a murder´s or even in a banker´s soul.)